Aerial view
Aerial view

By Molly Butler

I don’t need to tell you; it’s been a long, isolating winter. When we live the same way for so long, we can get stuck in a rut. This time of year, we’re susceptible to irritability and restlessness. Sometimes we’re unable to see the good without staining it with the bad.

Anicius Boethius was born to one of the most distinguished Roman families in 480 CE. He was wildly successful; elected consul of Rome, the highest elected office, he married well, and had successful sons to boot. In 523, at the height of his wealth and power, he was accused of treason. Boethius lost everything. He was banished to a remote prison and executed in 524.

During that year awaiting his execution, Boethius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy. With the help of Lady Philosophy, Boethius examines his relationship with Lady Fortune. Boethius comes to understand that change is not inherently bad, that the universe itself is change, and all our understandings of “good” and “bad” exist within our own minds. Everything that happens to us is ultimately neutral; it is our interpretations of these events that gives them moralizing qualities.

These reframing tactics foreshadowed cognitive therapy we use today. Reinterpreting our reality, seeing our own situation from a new perspective, can allow us to let go of frustration, guilt, even anger.

Sometimes there’s nothing wrong; we just need a change of perspective.

Obviously, Boethius is quite an extreme example. Thankfully, we don’t all have a hard one-year deadline to overcome our objections with the universe through philosophical pondering. Knowing that a person can lose so much and still achieve peace should inspire us. We have the power to reinterpret our lives. We have the choice to reframe our situation in a way that gives us more peace and calm. Sometimes there’s nothing wrong; we just need a change of perspective.

There are a lot of wonderful events happening this weekend, so get out there and break up that cabin fever.


Are your pup’s paws dried out from winter? The North Mankato Taylor Library has your paws covered, literally. From 10:00am to 4:00pm you can swing by for their Homemade Paw Wax Take & Make for just $5. Register online or call the library.

Randy Wood’s photography exhibition, “A Passing- The Vanishing Family Farm” will be available to view at the Blue Earth Historical Society from 12:00 noon to 4:00pm on Saturday, with the exhibit available through the end of March. Wood’s photography captures the loss of once common small family farms as they disappear from our landscape. This display is free to the public. The Mankato Makerspace is offering a 4-Day course on shoe making as well as a Glass Torchwork class.


The Deep Valley Book Festival is putting on a special Cabin Fever Edition this year! Saturday is Day 1 of this 2-Day event. Register online and tune in via Zoom for speakers, panels, and workshops, as well as giveaways and more.

Get ready for Psychic Saturdays at Christy’s Crystals. Experienced healers and readers will be available in back room from 11:00am to 6:00pm. If you’re interested in tarot readings, palm readings, crystal healing, reiki, herd-based oracle readings, or just curious about what’s in store, swing by to check it out.

This is the last day to enjoy the 410 Project’s juried exhibit! Make sure to stop by and see what our wonderful local artists have created. Then, regional artists Caitlin Lang and Sam Matter will showcase in a joint exhibit titled Intentionally Accidental at the 4 Pillars Gallery At The Grand in New Ulm. This exhibit will feature a variety of works in various mediums and will be available for viewing through April 3rd.

I think we could all use a little live music. The Circle Inn Bar on Belgrade in North Mankato will have Matt & Laurel performing some tunes outdoors from 2:00-4:00 pm with the back room open for shopping as well as cocktails and food available outdoors. Just dress for the weather and enjoy.


Sunday will be the second and final day for the Deep Valley Book Festival: Cabin Fever Edition. Attend via Zoom for great information and workshops from authors and publishers.

The Blue Earth County Historical Society will hold their annual meeting beginning at 1:00pm this Sunday. Register by March 5 by calling (507) 345-5566 to join in via Zoom.

Bonus: Fresh Perspectives

It’s easy to get caught in our own lives. When we live a certain way and experience our specific set of problems, it becomes hard to see the forest for the trees. Solutions that are so obvious to others can completely evade us. That’s why it’s important to break out of the monotony and gain some fresh perspective.

  • Take a Walk: I will preach this one to my grave. A nice, casual walk, especially in nature, can resolve many of the problems we give ourselves.
  • Change your Space: Move your desk. Rearrange your room. Sit down to work in a different area. Paint your walls. Eliminate some clutter. Your physical space has a lot of influence on your inner world.
  • Study up: As a creative, I know that no two things are completely separate. Everything is relevant. Crack open a book, watch a documentary or put on a TED talk about, well, anything. You’ll be surprised at the connections you find.
  • Phone a Friend: An honest conversation with someone close to you can help put your situation in perspective.
  • Do One Weird Thing: Do you normally type? Try handwriting. Same route to work every day? Take a new path. Do you have a favorite spot on the couch, or side of the bed, or a go-to breakfast, or an everyday playlist? Change one thing and embrace the weirdness.


Weekend High Notes is a regular feature by Molly Butler. Molly covers weekend events, live music, and culture in the Greater Mankato Area. Suggestions are welcome using the MankatoLIFE contact form.